If I was to do the oil changes myself on my '00 Jetta VR6, what oil filter would I get (I heard they're different/special for the 2.8s), how much should it run me, and where could I get it?
Oh, and what oil should I use? I drive it semi-hard (usually don't go too far beyond 4K/5K RPM).
Re: Oil Filter for MkIV Jetta GLX (VR6)??? (Meats00GLX)
You can get the OEM Hengst VR6 filter at Impex Foreign Auto Parts, http://www.vwparts.com. I've ordered from them before and their service is excellent (I think their prices are really good too). They have a vast selection of OEM parts that I've never seen anywhere else. The filter is around $8.50 or so. They also have Bentley manuals for $55.25 (last time I checked), which seem to be hard to come by. Hope this helps!
Edit: Just some additional info for you. They actually have two VR6 filters, one listed as "Oil Filter VR6" ($7.77) and one listed as "Oil Filter VR6 (Hengst)" ($8.22). The cheaper one is a recent addition -- the last time I ordered filters the Hengst one was the only choice. I have no idea what the differences are, but the people at Impex could probably tell you. I'll probably stick with Hengst myself. Oh, by the way, I use 5W-30 oil (impossible for me to find 5W-40 where I live). The manual says 5W-30 is acceptable also.
What oil would be "better" (quotation marks because I know it may depend on several factors)? 5W-30 or 5W-40?
I only saw the Hengst filter on the website. Who's Hengst and what makes their filter any better than the OEM (probably the $7.77 one)?
If you look on the Impex home page, in the big list of "specials" on the right side of the screen, the $7.77 filter is 8th from the top, and the Hengst filter is 15th from the top, just to let you know they do have both of them!
I just looked at the vehicles covered by each filter (as shown under "Part Applications" on the Impex site), and it looks like the $7.77 filter is only for earlier 12v VR6 engines (MY 1993 - 1996 Jettas and 1996 Golfs), while the Hengst will work for the 12v VR6 in all MY 1993 to 2002 cars. Seems weird, but don't ask me why!
Looks like you'll need the Hengst.
As for which oil to use, I don't think it will make a whole lot of difference as long as you stick with what the manual recommends. Here's what the numbers mean, for an example of 5W-30. The 5 indicates the viscosity of the oil when cold (on an arbitrary SAE scale); the W means it's suitable for winter use; the 30 means that once the oil is heated up, it will thin no more than an oil with a viscosity rating of 30. You can check out this page if you want to read more on this. http://www.repairfaq.org/filipg/AUTO/F_oil_facts.html
I doubt there will be a noticeable difference between 5W-30 and 5W-40. The 5W-30 will be slightly thinner at operating temperature, which might be good for you, being in Minnesota. You really can't go wrong with either one though (the manual says so). Just change it routinely and you should be fine.
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